PARIS (Reuters) – Olympique Marseille and Lyon shared the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 Ligue 1 draw on Sunday as Monaco moved back into second place and strengthened their Champions League hopes with a 4-0 home win over Toulouse.
Remy Cabella opened the scoring at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais as Marseille sought to extend Lyon’s miserable run, but the hosts responded in the 78th minute through Corentin Tolisso.
Marseille’s unbeaten league run now stretches to nine matches and they move into eighth on 30 points while Lyon are ninth having avoided a fifth loss in their last six.
Goals from Bernardo Silva, Fabio Coentrao, Guido Carrillo and Helder Costa gave Monaco a 4-0 win over Toulouse, whose hopes of a lifeline were dashed when Wissam Ben Yedder’s penalty was saved brilliantly by Danijel Subasic.
Monaco are on 39 points, three ahead of Nice who defeated Lorient 2-1 at home on Saturday, but they remain 21 points behind runaway leaders Paris St Germain.
Having finished third last season, Monaco missed out on the Champions League following a playoff defeat by Valencia and are desperate to secure a top-two finish and a guaranteed berth in Europe’s premier club competition.
They are now unbeaten in eight and have lost only once in the league since Sept. 20.
Marseille and Lyon remained six points off the Champions League places but both will take positives from their draw.
The visitors were menacing in attack, with Rolando and Michy Batshuayi going close in the first 30 minutes, while Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was imperious before Cabella opened the scoring after a fine knockdown from Batshuayi.
Lyon’s league campaign has gone into tailspin in recent weeks having won only once since Nov. 8, but Bruno Genesio’s side showed character to come back as substitute Tolisso finally beat Mandanda from close range.
“We absolutely wanted to win after our defeat at St.Etienne,” Tolisso told Canal Plus. “We needed to bounce back and we absolutely wanted to win at home.
“Sadly it didn’t happen, but it’s important that we fought back to show our new spirit. We need to congratulate the goalkeeper, he made some wonderful saves.”
Relegation-threatened Reims rescued a point at home to St.Etienne thanks to Aissa Mandi’s equaliser following Jean-Christophe Bahebeck’s 60th-minute header.
(Writing by Ed Dove, Editing by Ed Osmond)